Trump’s Environmental Policies Worsen Coronavirus

This Earth Day, Trump’s dangerous environmental record has made the coronavirus crisis worse. Even as tens of thousands of Americans die from COVID-19 complications and hundreds of thousands more contract the disease, Trump has pursued an anti-science agenda that could even make coronavirus more deadly, particularly among communities of color.

Communities with high levels of air pollution are more at risk from the coronavirus, which disproportionately endangers people of color.

New York Times: “Coronavirus patients in areas that had high levels of air pollution before the pandemic are more likely to die from the infection than patients in cleaner parts of the country, according to a new nationwide study that offers the first clear link between long-term exposure to pollution and Covid-19 death rates.”

Washington Post: “Poor and minority communities in the United States tend to be exposed to greater air pollution, including soot, because they often live closer to highways or industrial facilities.”

The Guardian: “Polluted US areas are among worst-hit by coronavirus – putting people of color even more at risk”

Despite the respiratory pandemic, Trump ceased enforcement of clean air standards and refused advice to strengthen them, threatening an increase in coronavirus complications.

The Hill: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws Thursday, telling companies they would not need to meet environmental standards during the coronavirus outbreak.”

E&E News: “EPA’s move last week to ease pollution enforcement during the novel coronavirus pandemic endangers people who are susceptible to the spreading disease by exacerbating respiratory illnesses, according to public health experts.”

New York Times: “‘Unbelievable’ Timing: As Coronavirus Rages, Trump Disregards Advice to Tighten Clean Air Rules”

Trump’s fulfilling the fossil fuel lobby’s wishlist, and his move to end enforcement went well beyond what even they had hoped for.

The Hill: “In a 10-page letter to EPA earlier this week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) asked for a suspension of rules that require repairing leaky equipment as well as monitoring to make sure pollution doesn’t seep into nearby water. … But Giles and others say the memo signed Thursday goes beyond that request, giving industries board authority to pollute with little overnight from the agency.”

Vox: “The EPA appears to be using coronavirus to make huge concessions to polluters”

Trump’s abysmal record over the past three years, filled with rollbacks of clean air regulations and rejections of sound science, could have serious consequences as the nation seeks to recover from the pandemic.

New York Times: “As more is learned about the recurrence of Covid-19, the study also could have far-reaching implications for clean-air regulations, which the Trump administration has worked to roll back over the past three years on the grounds that they have been onerous to industry.”

InsideClimate News: “Trump EPA’s ‘Secret Science’ Rule Would Dismiss Studies That Could Hold Clues to Covid-19”